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26% OF RUSSIAN FAMILIES LIVE IN EXTREME POVERTY
MOSCOW, October 1 (RIA Novosti) - The Independent Social Policy Institute has conducted a survey of 44,000 families in 79 Russian Federation members. According to the survey, 26% of them live in extreme poverty. As many as 33.9% of them live in rural areas, and 17.4% in cities with a population of over 500,000 people. The results of the research and expert conclusions are published in Novye Izvestia.
Russian pensioners are not the poorest section of the population. Single pensioners account for merely 5.9% of people whose income is below the subsistence level, while the figure for pensioners' couples is 3.1%. Sixty percent of poor families have children: 41% are married couples with children under 18, and 20.2% are one-parent families with children. Interestingly, for 35.3% of families, every member is in work.
Accordingly, the idea that the number of jobs should simply be increased to raise national welfare is a moot point. This is all the more true given that experts point out that Russia's unemployment rate is far lower than in Western countries. There are many families (26%) where one member is seeking work.
Regional social programs are failing to solve the poverty problem: 34% of those signed up still live in poor conditions. According to experts, the emphasis should be placed on individual support for the poor in rich regions. Poor regions, in turn, should be bolstered with budget allocations and federal support.